Sugar shacks are a huge thing in Quebec. I haven’t been since…I was really young. Young enough that I don’t quite remember much from it. I think it was somewhere around Grade 1 or 2. But then, I remember going to apple picking in Grade 1 and Granby Zoo in Grade 2 so maybe its in kindergarten?
Sorry, thinking out loud again (Ed Sheeran song pops in my head for a little).
Gosh, I really don’t want to write this, eh? It’s just going off on tangents. You’ll see why in just a little bit.
Me, my boyfriend and some good friends all came for this little trip to Erabliere Charbonneau at the end of season sugar shack dining. Before we start, if you live in Montreal, chances are you know about the highly reputable Erabliere Charbonneau. Everyone goes there and its fantastic and all that jazz…today, I’m going to tell you why I will never go again. Our experience was not too pleasant. As most of you know, I’m a pretty chill person and I don’t criticize all that much but thinking about this experience makes my blood boil just a little (well, today its just a little). But I like to start on a positive note so let’s do this!
The “marinade” starters included bread and pea soup. Maybe there was something else but I don’t remember.
Maple flavored Sausages, meatballs and Tourtiere
Ham, Eggs and Potatoes
Think breakfast/brunch with lots of sweetness added in 😉 Thats what all this was. To be fair, the sausages and meatballs were pretty delish. You can order seconds if you so desired.
Last group is desserts. Although who knows when dessert starts when everything is all about being rather sweet with maple syrup. I didn’t have anything in this because of the lactose intolerant issue. From what I gathered, it was over the top sweet for some and alright for others…I guess it all depends on how much sweet is too much for you.
The Reason Why I Won’t Go Back Here
First up, remember that pretty much everyone in our group hasn’t gone to a sugar shack in a while and we don’t quite know how it all works. As customers, you’d expect to have the benefit of the doubt and even then, one of my friends does quite a bit of research in advance so we knew that we could ask for seconds but from what we understood, we could have it after our dessert portion. Sure, that seems a little out of order and unconventional, that’s okay.
So, we decided after it finished that we wanted to have another serving of sausages, meatballs and potatoes and the waitress looks at us like we’re crazy but she still does it. A few minutes later, the manager comes out and starts literally scolding us in front of everyone about how she’s been working there for 20 years and this has never happened. We explained our side rather calmly but still she kept raising her voice about how this was not how its done.
We’re not an unreasonable group. My issue isn’t even with how we made an unconventional request and she seemed to want to refuse (even if she did end up serving it to us after our scolding), it was the way she handled it that got me pretty angry. For one, the kitchen is still running and our reservations are only up at noon. We asked at 11:30am. But also the point that, as a business, you don’t go up to your customers and yell at them in front of a room full of other customers. We’re all adults. She could have explained calmly so we understood and not belittle or be all condescending. Even if she refused and was explaining nicely to us, I’d have probably been less pissed. Because what this shows me is that she doesn’t want our business and to be honest, I don’t really want to come back here to be insulted.
Its a pity because the food here is good. They have a good thing going but sometimes, good (even great) food doesn’t make bad service feel better. Maybe we had fault by asking for something out of their normal routine but they also had fault because our assigned waitress was not clear about the details of how this works and when we could ask for our second rounds before clearing our table. Plus, its not exactly proper customer service to have a manager yell a table of adults instead of explaining calmly. Her attitude bothered me so much.
Still, if you do decide to give this a shot, the perks of this place is that you get a free sampling of one cider/wine at their orchard and it includes the “tir de glace” which is the maple syrup on ice thing. I don’t know the proper term for it.
Have you been to somewhere like this? Where was it? Did you enjoy the experience?